“I hate the night shift,” Ron groaned, walked into the kitchen and collapsed into a chair at the table still dressed in his Auror’s robes.
“Rough night?” Harry asked as he looked up from the paper.
“You’re so lucky you decided not to become an Auror,” Ron replied.
Harry shrugged his shoulders. “With everything we’ve gone through I just couldn’t see myself working for the Ministry. Besides running a business isn’t easy.”
“Well you’re the one who came up with the idea for it,” Ron pointed out. “Oh and Mr. Betsen stopped me and told me he wanted to take some of the classes you offered.”
“You told him to contact the office?” Harry asks.
Ron nodded his head. “He said he didn’t like the idea of taking classes with others and would prefer private lessons.”
Harry sighed. “I’ll have to talk to Hermione about expanding that option.”
“You know when you two dreamt up this crazy scheme I thought your two were barmy but I have to admit it works,” Ron said.
“All thanks to the Kanines-Buck Institute,” Harry boasted as he saluted the institute with his cup of tea.
“I still can’t figure out how you got Hermione to go along with it or how you got that article in the paper,” Ron complained.
“Hermione was the easy part,” Harry admitted. “I just pointed out how it would give the wizard world a chance to expand their world view, to further their education.”
Ron snorted. “Yeah that would do it. The girl is still barmy about learning stuff.”
Harry chuckled. “After getting Hermione on board and starting the business, which believe me isn’t easy in the wizard world, I simple walked into the Daily Prophet office and claimed to be a free-lance reporter and gave them by article.”
“You just walked in and gave it to them,” Ron said in disbelief. “And they didn’t recognize you or question anything?”
“Well I did have a hat on and I wasn’t wearing my glasses. They actually paid me for the article,” Harry admitted.
“They paid you for it,” Ron said in disgust.
Harry nodded his head.
Ron shook his head. “Are you sure that article didn’t have a bit of truth to it… at least concerning the people at the Prophet?”
Harry chuckled. “I’ve been wondering that myself but you know how the Prophet is. The truth doesn’t matter; it all comes down on how many papers the article will sell.”
Ron sighed. “Yeah I know. Mum actually bought a few extra papers and sent them off to Bill and Charlie. Guess she’s worried about them being in high magic areas.”
The ringing of a bell signaled that someone has just arrived by floo.
“Sounds like Hermione has arrived,” Harry commented as he turned his attention back to the paper.
Ron nodded his head in agreement as he reached over and snatched a muffin from Harry’s plate.
“Morning,” Hermione called cheerfully as she entered the room
Ron groaned at her cheerful attitude while Harry just waved hi
“How was work, Ron,” Hermione asked as she sat down at the table
“It was great if you like dealing with drunk wizards who don’t know what a bathroom is or who can’t tell the difference between a statue and a real person,” Ron grumbled.
“Was it Simon Jessup again?” Hermione asked
Ron nodded his head. “Every few days that old man gets drunk on fire whiskey and then tries to have relationship with the statues on a side street off Diagon Alley. Claims that it’s really his wife turned to stone,” Ron explained. “Of course when we try to take him in so he can sleep it off he tries to take a piss on one of us.”
“Well it is possible that he’s right?” Hermione pointed out.
Ron snorted. “Nope. My boss had one of the Unspeakables check on it just in case and he confirmed there was nothing magical about any of them. Mrs. Jessup give came around and said it looked nothing like her. To be truthful it does look a little like her in the right light.”
“Hold on!” Hermione exclaimed. “Are you saying his wife is still alive but he’s claiming the statue is his wife turned to stone?”
“I asked him about that last time we hauled him in… after he sobered up of course. He said that is wife is as cold and lifeless as that statue and he figured that he had a better chance with that one than the one he’s married to,” Ron explained.
“That’s horrible!” Hermione cried.
“I know!” Ron agreed. “Poor man.”
“Poor man! I was talking about his wife! How dare her husband say such a thing about her. I doubt very much if she’s cold and heartless as he claim she is,” Hermione exclaimed.
“I’ve meet the woman, Hermione,” Ron said. “And compared to her Mrs. Malfoy is like my mum.”
“You know your mum would have an absolute fit if she heard you say that,” Hermione pointed out.
Ron snorted. “Of course she would at least until she met the woman.”
Ron glanced over at Harry who’s full attention seems to be totally absorbed in the paper. “Something interesting in there, mate?”
“Just reading the real estate ads,” Harry commented without looking up as he circled an ad with a Muggle pen.
“You mean that second part of your prank is working?” Hermione asked in surprise.
Harry snorted. “Was there ever any doubt.”
“Second part? I thought the whole idea was to get the wizard world to get out and experience the rest of the world. That was the whole point of the news article, plus to get your business going,” Ron stated as he looked back and forth between his two friends.
“Of course it was,” Hermione commented. “Can you think of a better way for the wizard world to learn about the rest of the world? Muggle studies at Hogwarts was pitiful. And with Pure-blood ideas they would never learn on their own until they were tricked into it.”
“Well that was primary reason why Hermione joined in on this little prank,” Harry explained with a smirk. “Mine was completely different.”
“And what was that?” Ron asked.
“Revenge,” Harry answered simply.
Ron and Hermione stared at Harry in silence for a moment before Ron said, “And how does this get you revenge?”
“Hey mate, what would you do if you found out that your home is making you sick and stupid,” Harry ask as a smile slowly appearing on his face.
“Well if you can’t fix it, you get rid of it. Sell it,” Ron answered.
Harry nodded his head. “You sell it. And if a lot of people are selling their homes at the same time and if everyone knows what the problem is with it…”
“You have to cut the asking price,” Hermione said. “You sell it for less than it is worth.”
“And that’s when I buy it,” Harry replied with an almost evil grin.
Hermione expression seems to brighten as she stared at Harry in wonder.
“I don’t get it,” Ron admitted, looking back and forth between the two friends. “I mean you’ll own their homes and then what?”
“And then we’ll give the Prophet another article to print,” Harry said. “One from the Buck-Kanines Institute that says the first study was completely wrong and that it’s safe to live in areas of high magical concentration.”
“I thought it was Kanines-Buck Institute?” Ron scratched his head.
“It is,” Harry replied. “So when people start coming back and want their old homes back, I’ll sell them at a higher price than I bought them for.”
“And then you can have another article from the Kanines-Buck Institute group that says their first study was right and that the Buck-Kanines Institute study was wrong,” Hermione commented.
“After that you can Buck-Kanines Institute say that their study was correct and the Kanines-Buck’s two studies were wrong. You could continue this for years, decades even,” Ron exclaimed happily.
Hermione shook her head in disgust. “Ron I don’t think it would go on for decades.”
“It could,” Ron replied.
“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity,” Harry chimed in. “Just look at how many times the Ministry let Lucy get away with what he did.”
“That was because the Ministry was corrupt, not from human stupidity,” Hermione countered.
“And yet it was human stupidity that put them in power,” Harry replied. “And it made this prank, this small bit of revenge, possible.”
His two friends looked at him for a moment before Ron said, “So who has their homes for sale,” as he tried to read the paper from where he was.
“Well the Malfoy’s just listed their home,” Harry answered with a smirk as he pointed at an ad he had circled.
“What!” Hermione exclaimed as she grabbed the newspaper so she could read it. “I can’t believe it! Lucius Malfoy would never put his family home up for sale. The man’s too intelligent and distrusting to fall for anything the Prophet writes without investigating it himself.”
Harry nodded his head. “I know but he did put it up for sale,” he said as he pointed at the ad.
“That might be my fault,” Ron admitted.
“Ronald Bilius Weasley, what did you do?” Hermione demanded in a tone of voice that would make Molly Weasley proud.
“Well…” Ron stammered as a blush appeared on his face. “Well a couple days ago, while I was at work, I came upon Draco… he was pretty drunk…. So drunk he didn’t even recognize me! Might be because I had my hood up since it was raining. Anyways he kept going on about the three of us and how horrible we make his life when we were at Hogwarts. Blaming us for all the problems in his life, including the report on high magic areas. And since he was so drunk, I just kind of… well…”
“What exactly did you do, Ron?” Hermione said with a stern looked on his face.
“I got him a room in a cheap inn off Knockturn Alley and put a female pig in bed with him,” Ron answered in a rush.
“You made it look like Draco porked a pig,” Harry said in a flat lifeless tone of voice.
“Yes,” Ron said with a squeak.
“And you didn’t tell me until now!” Harry exclaimed. “Did you at least get photos?”
“Bloody right I did!” Ron bragged. “I also made sure that a copy was sent to the Malfoy Manor.” And evil grin appeared on Ron’s face. “And then I arranged for a farmer I know to send a letter to Draco asking if he want another night with Cindy Lu Swine before she was scheduled to become pork chops? If he didn’t want her, then he might be interesting in Little Soo-Wee?”
“Oh dear,” Hermione covered her face so no one could see her expression.
“Made sure that it arrived during breakfast,” Ron said. “I remember Dobby telling me once that Draco and his father always had sausage for breakfast.”
“Well I doubt they’ll be eating that for breakfast anymore,” Harry replied simply.
“Harry!” Hermione gasped as he hands dropped from her face. “I can’t believe you said that!”
“Why not?” Harry said with a shrug of his shoulders. “It’s probably true.”
“Well… yes, you’re probably right but it was still rude,” Hermione admitted. “And what Ron did was wrong. Can you imagine what would happen to Draco’s reputation if this becomes public knowledge?”
“It’s never going to come public, Hermione. Right, Ron,” Harry said.
Ron’s shoulders slumped in defeat. “Right, Harry,” he said in disappointment.
“And beside Draco will learn two important lessons from all of this,” Harry said with a cheeky smile.
“And what are those?” Hermione demanded her arms crossed over her chest.
“One he’ll be forced to learn about the rest of the world and exactly what Muggles can and can’t do,” Harry answered.
“And the other lesson,” Hermione asked.
“Don’t get drunk. You never know where you’ll wake up or with whom,” Harry replied with a smile.
Lady FoxFire is the author of 26 other stories.
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